An Autecological Theory of the Firm and its Environment
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An Autecological Theory of the Firm and its Environment

Colin Jones and Gimme Walter

The process of firm-level adaptation and survival have historically been of great interest to researchers of firms. However, these researchers have previously been denied an ecological framework within which to study the processes through which individual firms respond to and indeed, modify their individual environments. This book remedies this situation, providing the first comprehensive introduction to organisational autecology, or, the study of individual firms and the environments they interact with and typically modify to ensure their survival. In addition to establishing the theoretical and philosophical foundations of organisational autecology, the empirical application of this new approach is demonstrated and its future application to the domain of organisational studies is contemplated.
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Chapter 2: What is a firm?

Colin Jones and Gimme Walter


Firms that survive do so by continually adapting to their surroundings in unique ways. They operate in environs that most certainly differ from their neighbours in ways that are mostly confidential, even secret. Such differences may be small or large, but they are ever-present, and this inevitably leads to observable differences in the firms we see across the world, but one may have to look closely enough. This chapter is about firms and the unique relations they maintain with their operational environments to ensure their survival.

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